Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport closed by protesters

Bangkok's main international airport has been closed, with all inbound and outbound flights cancelled Wednesday morning after anti-government protesters stormed the terminal Tuesday afternoon.

Thousands of passengers are now stranded and many more inconvenienced by cancelled flights to Thailand. The protesters, part of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), are vowing to stay put until Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigns. It brings to a head a political crisis that has been brewing since the large group first occupied Government House in August.

Adding to the insecurity, several small bombs have exploded periodically in the protest areas, thought to be the work of pro-government agitators. No foreigners have been hurt in the stand-off, however several countries have issued travel warnings on travel to Thailand.

The Prime Minister, who jetted in to Chiang Mai late Wednesday after attending the APEC meeting in Peru, has condemned it as illegal and a 'threat to democracy'. However, the Army Chief Anupong Paojinda has refused to use force to remove the protesters, suggesting the Prime Minister should dissolve the House instead and the PAD guarantee to cease their protest in return. Prime Minister Wongsawat has however dismissed the suggestion.

The airport meanwhile has remained closed until further notice with access to the terminal blocked by protesters and the concourses occupied by yellow-clad PAD protesters. Behind the scenes there have been furious efforts to get both sides to back down.

The PAD protests have become increasingly daring in their attempt to unseat the present government, elected in January 2008, when power was returned to the ballot following the 2006 coup. The group's activities have become increasingly militant in response to the governing party's attempts to apparently whitewash corruption charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was disposed in the coup.

The PAD recently blockaded parliament in a desperate attempt to prevent the government from endorsing a bill to allow a constitutional amendment that would open the door for Thaksin's exoneration. When the session was postponed, the PAD moved their protest to the airport in a final bid to force a House dissolution. The ruling party is facing a likely dissolution in late December for vote buying, and is under pressure to force through their agenda.

More news

Koh Chang - Chang Park Resort & Spa
Koh Chang - Dewa Resort & Spa
  • 1stopbangkok.com
  • 1stoppattaya.com
  • 1stopphuket.com
  • 1stopkrabi.com
  • 1stopchiangmai.com
  • 1stopthailand.com
Virtual Guide
Free Banner Trial